My mind sometimes goes back to my childhood and teen years and recalls words spoken to me. You know, those memorable items parents, teachers and friends said to you. Maybe I don’t remember the exact context. Maybe in my mind it’s now a paraphrase. But I remember the gist.
A day or so ago I remembered my dad telling me, as a teenager, that I didn’t smile much. He didn’t nag me about it. He didn’t say it everyday. But I remember it coming up more than once. I did not have an unhappy life at this time. The usual teenage angst of a young girl, but nothing serious. Yet this person who lived with me, knew me better than 99.9% of the world, observed my face wore a frown more than a smile.
I’ve decided to conduct an experiment. I’m going to force myself to smile. When I’m driving. When I enter my home after work. When I say good morning to the lovely people I live with. And other times too.
I’m not talking some pseudo cheesy, teethy grin. I’m thinking more along the lines of the no teeth exposed, lip smile. Hopefully people won’t interpret this as a valium high. That’s not what I’m going for.
There’s the song, When You’re Smiling, telling us the world smiles with us. And if Psychology Today says it’s true, well it is, right:
Apparently there are health benefits to smiling. I suppose it’s free medication. So, I’m giving it a try. You’ve probably heard if you do something long enough, it becomes a habit.
I’m hoping that’s the case and no one again ever tells me, “you don’t smile.”